By Cecille Santillan-Visto

Fan Meet
2017 Kim Jae Joong Asia Tour Fan Meeting in Manila
Smart Araneta Coliseum, QC, Nov. 30

KOREAN STAR Kim Jae Joong may be considered as one of the most versatile artists of his generation. He has a flourishing singing career — both as a soloist and as a member of the group, JYJ. As a singer, he has performed in sold-out concerts in world-class arenas in Korea, Japan, China, and other Asian countries. As an actor, he has starred in six drama series and has two films under his belt. As a recording artist, he has two full-length albums, WWW and No.X, on top of the album he released with JYJ and his former group, TVXQ.

It is this versatility that endeared him to his Filipino fans who finally had a chance to see him perform in Manila during a fan meeting at the Big Dome on Nov. 30.

The fan meeting is among Mr. Kim’s activities meant to touch base with his supporters following his discharge from two years of mandatory military service. The first of the series of worldwide fan meets was held in Seoul last October. Notably, tickets to the Seoul leg of his fan meeting tour sold out in just one minute.

“It’s been a long time but you guys are the same,” Mr. Kim, who debuted in 2003, told his fans.

The fan meeting was divided into two segments — the first had him playing games with fans, while the second half was devoted to a mini-concert.

In the first part, aside from the usual charades and Q&A with the fans, he also tried some Filipino food like papaitan and sisig, which he downed with local beer.

“San Miguel?” he asked the audience, visibly enjoying the brew, but he had to restrain himself from indulging in more as he still had to sing several numbers during the show. Mr. Kim was relaxed throughout, even gamely sharing with fans that he has been frequently visiting his dermatologist and at 31, he admitted in jest that he now easily loses stamina.

The Asia Popularity awardee at the 31st Golden Disc Awards also gave in to requests for him to dance to some Filipino novelty songs, such as the Sex Bomb’s “Spaghetti Song,” “Whoops Kirri” by Fruitcake, and Vhong Navarro’s “Pamela One.” And adapting the promotional video of Manhole — where the stars were shown dancing in their pajamas in Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul — some fans who had worn unique sleepwear were invited on stage to play charades with Mr. Kim. A fan in a revealing red nightie won the game hands down.

While Mr. Kim was unable to perform a Filipino song, he did hum some Filipino favorites like Side A’s “Forevermore” and Up Dharma Down’s “Tadhana” during the guess-the-song portion.

But the highlight of the day was Mr. Kim’s performance. Proving why he was named the Best Male Artist at the 2017 Yin Yue Tai V-Chart Awards, he rocked the stage with “Good Morning Night” and captured the audience with ballads like “Now is Good” and “Although We Met, We Will Meet Again” from his album, No.X. His talent and confidence on stage demonstrated why he is considered one of Korea’s hottest stars.

What made the show more engaging was the fact that most of those in the audience were long-time fans of Mr. Kim, JYJ, and TVXQ, prompting host Kim Elenzano-Kim to refer to them, to their delight, as “lumang tao” (old folk).

The show was comparatively short but sweet, with Jae Joong saying he will return soon, presumably for a full-length concert. For now, the fans have memories of their close encounter with him to savor until their next encounter.